In 1972, when Joe Gillis supplied his first country store with Shell Oil fuel near Columbus, Mississippi. After traveling the country for many years as an employee of Royal Dutch Shell, Joe launched Dutch Oil Company in Columbus, with the support of his faithful wife and four children. As an entrepreneur, Joe was responsible for many “firsts” in the local market. He was the first to offer a free car wash with a fuel fill-up; first to operate 24 hours per day; and the first to offer same day dry cleaners in a convenience store.
Joe also pioneered many other new marketing concepts, such as starting a pharmacy business within a traditional convenience store in 1990. Since its birth in 1972, Dutch Oil Company has expanded into a number of other business entities, forming “The Dutch Group” of companies, serving many customers in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana. The various companies of The Dutch Group are still privately held, and mostly family owned, with 40 consecutive years of positive sales growth.